Pre-Code Movies on TCM and the Criterion Channel in October 2021

Happy October! This is probably the least active this site has been since I started it, and for that I apologize. In the past month, I have moved to Germany, broken my toe, got my kid started in school, dealt with severe health issues for both children, eaten a lot of good chocolate, caught some mice, etc, etc. It has been a lot, so I appreciate your patience as I hope to start posting reviews again this month and, if I don’t mess too many things up, announce some cool new things.

Over on the Criterion Channel, there are a few great additions for the spooky season. The most notable are a number of the Universal Monster classics, including pre-Codes The Invisible Man and The Black Cat. The site also added the early Lubitsch musicals they’d previously released as an Eclipse set, giving you no excuse not to pop on One Hour with You or The Smiling Lieutenant. Lastly, Criterion has also posted the full edition of Island of Lost Souls, including a useful commentary track. Here are my reviews of all the new pre-Codes on the channel:

October is the spooky month, so TCM is kicking off the month with some of the best pre-Code horror movies, and they bring up the rear with two showings of The Thin Man and Frankenstein— and I will probably watch all of those showings.

A friendly reminder: if you want to support my site, you can become a Patron over at Patreon. Cheers!

Pre-Code Movies on TCM in October 2021

10/1, 6:00 AM – King Kong (1933)

A film crew discovers the “eighth wonder of the world,” a giant prehistoric ape, and brings him back to New York where he wreaks havoc.

Dir: Merian C. Cooper Actors: Fay Wray,Robert Armstrong,Bruce Cabot
Runtime: 100 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 08:00 AM – The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

A big game hunter decides to stalk human prey.

Dir: Ernest B. Schoedsack Actors: Joel Mccrea,Fay Wray,Robert Armstrong
Runtime: 63 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: N

10/1, 9:15 AM – The Vampire Bat (1933)

Villagers suspect the town simpleton of being a vampire.

Dir: Frank Strayer Actors: Lionel Atwill,Fay Wray,Melvyn Douglas
Runtime: 63 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 12:45 PM – White Zombie (1932)

A zombie master menaces newlyweds on a Haitian plantation.

Dir: Victor Halperin Actors: Bela Lugosi,Madge Bellamy,Joseph Cawthorn
Runtime: 73 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 2:00 PM – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of a scientist who unleashes the beast within.

Dir: Rouben Mamoulian Actors: Fredric March,Miriam Hopkins,Rose Hobart
Runtime: 90 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 3:45 PM – Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

A disfigured sculptor turns murder victims into wax statues.

Dir: Michael Curtiz Actors: Lionel Atwill,Fay Wray,Glenda Farrell
Runtime: 72 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 5:15 PM – Doctor X (1932)

A reporter investigates a series of cannibalistic murders at a medical college.

Dir: Michael Curtiz Actors: Lionel Atwill,Fay Wray,Lee Tracy
Runtime: 76 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/1, 6:45 PM – Freaks (1932)

A lady trapeze artist violates the code of the side show when she plots to murder her husband.

Dir: Tod Browning Actors: Wallace Ford,Leila Hyams,Olga Baclanova
Runtime: 90 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/3, 11:30 AM – Mata Hari (1931)

Romantic biography of World War I’s notorious lady spy.

Dir: George Fitzmaurice Actors: Greta Garbo,Ramon Novarro,Lionel Barrymore
Runtime: 90 mins .. Genre: Romance .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/8, 03:15 PM – Gold Dust Gertie (1931)

Business partners try to hide their gold-digging ex-wife from their current spouses.

Dir: Lloyd Bacon Actors: Winnie Lightner,Ole Olsen,Chic Johnson
Runtime: 81 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: N

10/10, 03:45 PM – The Thin Man (1934)

In New York, a detective, his wife and his dog solve the murder case of an eccentric inventor.

Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Actors: William Powell,Myrna Loy,Maureen O’sullivan
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Suspense/Mystery .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

10/18, 04:30 PM – Trouble in Paradise (1932)

A love triangle ignites trouble between two jewel thieves and their intended victim.

Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Actors: Miriam Hopkins,Kay Francis,Herbert Marshall
Runtime: 81 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

10/25, 01:45 PM – Jewel Robbery (1932)

A jewel thief falls for a tycoon’s wife in Vienna.

Dir: William Dieterle Actors: William Powell,Kay Francis,Helen Vinson
Runtime: 70 mins .. Genre: Romance .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

10/25, 03:00 PM – Arsene Lupin (1932)

A gentleman thief risks his life in an attempt to steal the Mona Lisa.

Dir: Jack Conway Actors: John Barrymore,Lionel Barrymore,Karen Morley
Runtime: 84 mins .. Genre: Comedy .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

10/27, 9:45 PM – Dracula (1931)

The legendary bloodsucker stakes his claim on a British estate in search of new blood.

Dir: Tod Browning Actors: Bela Lugosi,Helen Chandler,David Manners
Runtime: 74 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-14 .. CC: Y

10/27, 11:15 PM – All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Young German soldiers try to adjust to the horrors of World War I.

Dir: Lewis Milestone Actors: Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray
Runtime: 140 mins .. Genre: War .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: N

10/28, 05:00 AM – Frankenstein (1931)

A crazed scientist creates a living being from body parts, not realizing it has a madman’s brain.

Dir: James Whale Actors: Colin Clive,Mae Clarke,John Boles
Runtime: 71 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/28, 10:15 AM – The Thin Man (1934)

In New York, a detective, his wife and his dog solve the murder case of an eccentric inventor.

Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Actors: William Powell,Myrna Loy,Maureen O’sullivan
Runtime: 80 mins .. Genre: Suspense/Mystery .. Rating: TV-G .. CC: Y

10/30, 8:00 PM – Frankenstein (1931)

A crazed scientist creates a living being from body parts, not realizing it has a madman’s brain.

Dir: James Whale Actors: Colin Clive,Mae Clarke,John Boles
Runtime: 71 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

10/31, 8:45 AM – White Zombie (1932)

A zombie master menaces newlyweds on a Haitian plantation.

Dir: Victor Halperin Actors: Bela Lugosi,Madge Bellamy,Joseph Cawthorn
Runtime: 73 mins .. Genre: Horror/Science-Fiction .. Rating: TV-PG .. CC: Y

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